Nusrat Ghani becomes first female Muslim minister to speak for Government in House of Commons

New transport minister is welcomed to Tory frontbench by 'proud' Transport Secretary Chris Grayling

Benjamin Kentish
Political Correspondent
Friday 19 January 2018 15:10
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Chris Grayling welcomes Nusrat Ghani to the House of Commons dispatch box

Nusrat Ghani has become the first female Muslim minister to speak at the House of Commons dispatch box.

The Conservative transport minister was cheered as she rose during transport questions to give an answer on disability access at train stations.

Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, welcomed Ms Ghani to the frontbench.

“I am proud to be from a party of opportunity,” he said. “We are a party of opportunity that provided this country with its first woman Prime Minister.

“Today, we are the party that provides the first Muslim woman minister to speak from the Government dispatch box—my honourable friend the Member for Wealden. I congratulate her, and I am very proud to sit alongside her today.”

Ms Ghani was promoted by Theresa May during last week’s reshuffle and will also serve as an assistant government whip. She had previously been a parliamentary aide to Amber Rudd’s Home Office team.

The MP said she was “delighted and honoured” at her promotion to the frontbench.

She said: "The roles are both exciting and challenging opportunities, and I am looking forward to getting started and making a difference.

“Transport is a subject on which I have campaigned passionately since being elected as the MP for Wealden. Alongside my ministerial duties, I will continue to be a strong voice for Wealden and deliver for my constituents. “

Born in Kashmir, Ms Ghani previously worked for the charity Barnardo's and the BBC World Service. She has been MP for Wealden since 2010.

There have been several male Muslim government ministers, including the current London Mayor Sadiq Khan, but Ms Ghani is the first female Muslim to speak for the Government in the Commons.

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